The Sopris Sun

Group proposes new farmer’s market

By John Colson

Sopris Sun Staff Writer

A group of local food producers is working on plans to establish an afternoon-evening Wednesday farmers market in Carbondale, to complement the existing farmers market that has taken place on Wednesday mornings at the 4th Street Plaza downtown for more than a decade.

Terri Anzini, who grew up in the Roaring Fork Valley, operates Roots & Roost Farm, which produces eggs for sale to area consumers confirmed on Monday that she will be the manager of the new market, and that she is working with several other women to get it going by early July. She said that, since February, she has been working with Gwen Garcelon, founder of the Roaring Fork Food Alliance, who came up with the idea.

So far, Anzini said, she has about 20 vendors signed up, a couple of whom sell at the morning market and will be putting up booths at the afternoon market once it starts up.

But aside from those, she said, “We’ve kind of got this whole new group of people,” starting with the three other women working on the project.

The working group, she said, includes Merrill Johnson of Merrill’s Family Farm in the Missouri Heights region north of Carbondale; Whitney Will of Roaring Gardens near the Waldorf School on the Roaring Fork; and Erin Cuseo of Erin’s Acres, also on Missouri Heights.

Others involved, Anzini said, are the Nieslanik family, who will be selling beef from their ranch near Carbondale; Casey Piscura, who has started up a small organic farming operation on the Sewell Ranch south of Carbondale; and two vendors from the Palisade area (Field To Fork and the Early Morning Orchard).

As for the products that will be available to patrons, Anzini said, there will be organic produce; some prepared foods “ready to eat;” locally packaged foods such as pickles, salsa, jams and jellies; arts and crafts; body-care products produced locally; what she called “heritage pork” products and other items.

“We want to get the after-work crowd,” Anzini explained. “We want to be in the center of town, so people can walk to it,” but wanted a different location from the morning market to differentiate the two.

Anzini met with Carbondale Recreation Director Jeff Jackel this week to talk about possible sites for the market, and has all but decided to use the parking area behind the Carbondale Recreation and Community Center.

The site is ideal for its central location, according to Anzini as well as Jackel, and sufficient nearby parking to accommodate commuting workers.

Jackel said there had been other locations considered, including Sopris Park just off Main Street, Miners’ Park behind City Market, and the open grassy area behind the Third Street Center (aka Bonnie Fisher Park).

But the spot behind the recreation center, Jackel said, is the one currently under consideration.

“That keeps it in the heart of town, with good visibility from the Rio Grande Trail” that runs just behind Town Hall and the recreation center, Jackel said.

Although the town has yet to formally sign off on this use for the site, Jackel said, “We’re on board. We’re trying to find ways to facilitate this market. It’s just trying to provide another market that will, in many aspects, benefit the local farmers,” some of whom have not worked with the morning market for a variety of reasons.

The new market is anticipated to start up on July 6, three weeks after the morning market gets going on June 15, Jackel said.

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At a glance

What: A new farmer’s market

When: Wednesdays (after work)

Where: Behind the Carbondale Recreation Center (probably)

When: July 6 (anticipated)

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Published in The Sopris Sun on May 12, 2016.